The Justice Department’s watchdog said Tuesday that a “combination of negligence and misconduct” enabled financier Jeffrey Epstein to take his own life at a federal jail in New York City while he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, the Associated Press reports. Inspector General Michael Horowitz cited the federal Bureau of Prisons’ failure to assign Epstein a cellmate after his previous one left and problems with surveillance cameras as factors in Epstein’s death. Horowitz said that Epstein was left in his cell with too many bed linens, which are a security issue and were used in his suicide. The inspector general's report on Epstein’s August 2019 death was, the last of several official inquiries. Horowitz reiterated the findings of other investigations that there was no indication of foul play, rebutting conspiracy theories surrounding the high-profile death.
Horowitz echoed previous findings that some members of the jail staff involved in guarding Epstein were overworked. He identified 13 employees with poor performance and recommended charges against six workers. Only the two workers tasked with guarding Epstein were charged, avoiding jail time in a plea deal after admitting to falsifying logs. The report was issued four years after Epstein took his own life at the Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. The workers assigned to guard Epstein were sleeping and shopping online instead of checking on him every 30 minutes as required, prosecutors said. Nova Noel and Michael Thomas admitted lying on prison records to make it seem as though they had made the checks but avoided prison time in a deal with prosecutors.